The Relationship Between Endogenous β-Glucuronidase Activity and Biologically Active Flavones-Aglycone Contents in Hairy Roots of Baikal Skullcap

Chem Biodivers. 2018 Feb;15(2). doi: 10.1002/cbdv.201700409. Epub 2018 Jan 22.


Here, we examine the relationship between contents of principal flavones in hairy roots of Scutellaria baicalensis with the activity of the β-glucuronidase (sGUS) enzyme during a culturing cycle. Using RP-HPLC, we show that the highest contents of aglycones, baicalin and wogonin is observed at the growth days 8, 14, and 71 and reach 45, 41, and 62% (based on the total weight of hairy roots of the Baikal skullcap), correspondingly. Their accumulation is accompanied by increase of the sGUS activity, which we determined fluorometrically. Moreover, the enzyme activity is characterized by significant and reasonable correlation only with the wogonin contents. Our results confirm a significant role of sGUS at the final steps of the metabolism in root-specific flavones of Baikal skullcap and suggest how one can optimize the conditions of culturing the hairy roots for biotechnological production of individual flavonoids. For example, at the culturing day 71 wogonin constituted over 80% of all flavones extracted from cells.

Keywords: Scutellaria baicalensis; baicalein; endogenous β-glucuronidase; flavones; wogonin.

MeSH terms

  • Flavones / analysis
  • Flavones / isolation & purification
  • Flavones / metabolism*
  • Fluorometry
  • Glucuronidase / isolation & purification
  • Glucuronidase / metabolism*
  • Molecular Structure
  • Plant Extracts / analysis
  • Plant Extracts / isolation & purification
  • Plant Extracts / metabolism*
  • Plant Roots / chemistry
  • Plant Roots / metabolism


  • Flavones
  • Plant Extracts
  • Scutellaria baicalensis extract
  • Glucuronidase